The number one reason to meal plan? It’s worth it. Whatever effort you put into creating your meal plan is a gift to your future self. When you know what you’re going to cook and that you, for sure, have all the ingredients, life feels easier.
Last week, we shared Part 1 of Reasons You’re Not Meal Planning and we’d like to address a few more scenarios that could keep you from meal planning regularly.
1. You’re going through a life event, like moving or having a baby.
Big life events are stressful and unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean it’s a reason to stop meal planning. Creating a meal plan will help you be more productive with the time you have because you’re eliminating things from your mental todo list. When you know what food is planned and that you actually have the ingredients, you will save yourself added stress each day.
And meal planning through your shifting life phase means you won’t fall out of the habit when things return to normal again.
2. You don’t cook from recipes.
Even if you don’t cook using recipes, creating a meal plan will save you from the mental juggling act of figuring out what you have on-hand and what recipes you could make. You can add Notes to the Planner to remind yourself what to cook each night and Ingredients for any additional items you need.
3. You like to be spontaneous.
Planning ahead can feel like you’re giving up spontaneity, but there are good reasons to meal plan. It will save money on groceries and save time each day when mealtimes come around. Planning ahead also helps you be more productive and allows you to prioritize your time better.
You don’t have to abandon spontaneity all together by planning ahead! If you plan 2-3 days at a time, you can enjoy the benefits of meal planning and still make room for shifting plans and last-minute changes. By planning incrementally, you can decide to get take out, or that something else sounds good, and you’re not sacrificing an entire fridge worth of food.
4. Meal planning feels tedious and boring.
Take the work out of your meal plan by planning a Menu or adding a few Freezer meals to your week. If you don’t have any saved Menus, you can use your Friend’s saved Menus and the Cooking Challenges Menus just like your own!
You can also get your partner or kids involved in the process, ask them for recipes or flavors that sound good to deload some of the mental work. And when you’re tired of cooking, enlist the help of your family to get meals prepared!
Bonus tip: Make meal planning simpler!
If you meal plan with pen and paper or a spreadsheet, you might not realize that using an all-in-one digital system like Plan to Eat saves so much time and effort.
You don’t have to give up your Pinterest boards or your family’s favorite recipes, you can import them into your account with a couple clicks.
You still get to create your own meal plans that work for your schedule, dietary needs, and budget.
And you don’t have to go through the process of writing your own shopping list because Plan to Eat will generate it for you. The Shopping List feature is organized by store and aisle and it can live on your phone, through the app, so you never leave your grocery list at home.
Do your future self a favor and get to meal planning! If you’d like to try Plan to Eat, you can sign up for a zero-risk free trial.